A poetry idea sits waiting in my workshop.
Marking some initial lines with a carpenter’s pencil
I chain-saw the first cuts of a rough shape,
pillar-drill for deeper meaning
and tap some stanzas into position
always with an eye on planing the soundscape.
Aided by Axminster, Metabo, Ryobi, Festool
and my father’s old hand-tools
there are phrases to be filed
words to be shaped with sharp chisels
and grammar to be screwed in, one quarter-turn at a time.
If the whole thing somehow doesn’t look right
I get out the angle-grinder.
If that fails, only one thing for it:
the big Bosch demolition-hammer … and start again.
If it’s looking good, it goes in Grandfather’s 100 year old ‘weighs-a-ton’ vice
to squeeze out surplus words
before rounding the edges with a spokeshave
smoothing with one of several sanders
until I’m sick of it. Then I know it’s ready.
“Josh, you’ve got more equipment than a bloody DIY store …”
I look at him askance and reply “I’m a poet for chrissakes,
I need all the power-tools I can lay my hands on”.